CBD versus THC: What are the Differences

When enthusiasts seek to relieve discomfort and enhance pleasure, they turn to cannabis products. Mostly, they choose between two of the well-known cannabinoids, CBD and THC. Both of them provide a different experience and interaction in the body. As someone who still gets confused about them, you want to know the similarities and differences between the two.  Read on as we talk about and compare CBD and THC.

The and CBD strain animation and of the two compounds

Distinguishing Between CBD and THC Compounds

Cannabinoids are substances derived from the cannabis plant that include THC and CBD, which are both psychoactive and non-psychoactive. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two main natural ingredients found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It has some special properties that provide a feeling of relaxation and calm without the psychoactive properties. It is also the main ingredient in CBD oil, a wellness supplement that is known to provide health benefits.

On the other hand, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component in Cannabis sativa. THC is responsible to give its consumers a feel-good sensation. Just like CBD, they also come in the forms of edibles, capsules, tinctures, and oils.

two lab workers looking at the breakdown of CBD

Where are CBD and THC From

THC and CBD are two of the most well-known cannabinoids present in cannabis. CBD and THC are provided by both cannabis and hemp. Cannabis, on the other hand, has a higher THC content. CBD content is higher in hemp. THC and CBD are present in equal quantities in the seeds, stalks, and flowers of both industrial hemp and cannabis plants. Even though both chemical compounds are found in cannabis plants, their distribution varies greatly depending on the product.

THC and CBD concentrations differ from strain to strain, plant to plant, and also within the same plant, with the highest concentration of cannabinoids found in the female plant's flowering tops. THC is only found in female Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plants, while CBD is found in both male and female Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plants.

Indica is known for having a higher CBD content and a lower THC content. It induces mind and body relaxation, as well as anti-nausea effects, increased appetite, and increased dopamine release. Indica is particularly recommended for use at night. Sativa, on the other hand, has less CBD and more THC, it serves as an antianxiety and antidepressant, treats chronic pain, and raises serotonin levels, which help to control learning, mood, sleep, anxiety, and appetite. Sativa is a strain that is better used during the day.

THC is the most prevalent compound in cannabis. While the THC content of some cannabis plants can be as low as 3%, the average strain contains about 12% THC. CBD is the most prevalent compound in hemp. Hemp has a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent by definition, which means it has almost 10 times less THC than the least active strain of cannabis. While Hemp naturally contains more CBD than THC, making it an excellent source of CBD from cannabis.

microscope looking at THC to find the chemical breakdown

Chemical composition of CBD and THC

CBD and THC have similar chemical structures. They both have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms in their molecular structure, but they only differ in the arrangement of atoms. This leads to a distinct effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD and THC are chemically identical to the endocannabinoids present in your body. This allows the substances to communicate with your cannabinoid receptors.

If the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids naturally, plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD or THC can provide additional stimulation to help maintain endocannabinoid system balance. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that interact with cannabinoid receptors all over the body. The production of neurotransmitters in your brain is affected by their interaction.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that communicate signals between cells and play a role in some functions, including pain, immune function, stress, and sleep, to name a few. They are thought to be used for the body's regulatory functions and are produced in response to needs within the larger physiological system.

cbd ambulance on its way to save your life

Benefits Provided by the Compounds

As consumers become curious about their options, most of the common knowledge about the two natural compounds revolve around how they give sensation to the body. Other than knowing how it can potentially affect your body, you should know what conditions it can help you with.

CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, CBD does not cause the euphoric effects that occur with THC. Some people may prefer to use CBD because of the lack of this side effect. Also, it has a lot of testimonies and feedback regarding its health benefits and its medicinal properties.

There are lots of studies and research about CBD's several other potential benefits. It is thought to provide antipsychotic effects, anti-tumor effects, diabetes prevention, and is also used to help with substance abuse. CBD has been shown to alleviate chronic pain by influencing endocannabinoid receptor function and communicating with neurotransmitters, according to research.

CBD is used to also help with other various conditions such as:

  • Acne Problems
  • Pain
  • Mental Illnesses
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer Symptoms
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Migraine
  • Depression
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

While THC can help give relief and comfort from health issues like:

  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Low Appetite
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Glaucoma 

With the presented benefits, it is best to weigh all pros and cons before deciding whether CBD or THC gives you the necessary treatment for your health needs.

Male getting sick from to much CBD

Possible side effects that you can encounter

CBD and THC can reflect in a variety of ways depending on one’s body. THC induces a psychoactive effect after intake, which is the most well-known and distinguishable effect. CBD does not have the same effect as THC. Taking CBD, on the other hand, will counteract the effects of THC, making you feel sober.

Since body compositions affect the potential reaction when a product or drug is consumed, you should be aware of the temporary side effects that you can experience with taking CBD and THC. THC can cause extreme hunger, concentration problems, increased heart rate, dry mouth, slow reaction times, drowsiness, red eyes, coordination problems, and even memory loss.

On the other hand, CBD is such a gentle compound that it has no harmful side effects except when given in large doses. CBD products cannot lead you to overdosing. If you experience a side effect as a result of using CBD, it may be due to CBD's association with other medications that are already involved in your body's system. Still, you should be on the lookout for slight side effects like appetite changes, fatigue, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, weight loss, diarrhea, and dizziness.

Take note that high THC use can be linked to long-term negative psychiatric effects. This is particularly true for teenagers who consume significant quantities of THC, although there is no definitive proof that cannabis use induces mental conditions like schizophrenia. While neither substance is lethal, it is important to take the right dosage. You should keep note that too much of something can be bad for you.

Doctors offering CBD to patients

Takeaway

CBD and THC have proved to be medically beneficial. Knowing both substances will help you make smarter decisions when it comes to what to look for depending on whether your purpose is for something recreational or medicinal. It is best to consult with a doctor before beginning to take one of these two compounds. CBD and THC can be considered healthy if and only if people want to seek medical advice rather than self-medicate with them.

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